Four African Americans Who Have Been Named to New Diversity Positions in Higher Education

Baruch College of the City University of New York announced the appointment of Elliott Dawes as executive chief diversity officer, effective August 2. Dawes has been serving as the chief diversity officer for institutional equity and inclusion at Empire State College of the State University of New York System. Earlier, he was the director of The City University of New York Black Male Initiative.

Dawes earned a bachelor’s degree in government and Africana studies from Cornell University. He holds law degrees from New York University and Columbia University.

Leah Cox was appointed vice provost for equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Since 2017, she has been serving as the inaugural vice president for inclusion and institutional equity at Towson University in Maryland. Earlier, Dr. Cox was at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia, where she served as special assistant to the president and chief diversity officer, Title IX coordinator, and campus ombudsman.

Dr. Cox holds a bachelor’s degree from what is now McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland, a master’s degree from the University of Arizona, and a doctoral degree from the University of Maryland at College Park.

Steven E. Hairston was named to dual positions as executive director of the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. Prior to this position, he served as the vice president for institutional advancement and chief operating officer at Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Dr. Hairston is a native of Atlantic City, New Jersey, and holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Virginia Union University in Richmond. He earned a master of public administration degree from Temple University in Philadelphia and a Ph.D. in leadership studies from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro.

Meshea L. Poore, vice president for equity, diversity, and inclusion at West Virginia University, is the new president of the Big 12 Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education. She has been on the staff at West Virginia University since 2018. Earlier, she was president of the West Virginia State Bar.

Poore is a graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she majored in political science. She earned a juris doctorate at the Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Related Articles


  1. Kudos and Congratulations, Brother Dr. Steven E, Hairston, on your dual appointment at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine . . . Continued success and ACHIEVEMENT!

    • Dr. Allen,

      Thanks so much. Great hearing from you and I trust that all is well. Please keep up your great work and I hope to see you down the road. ACHIEVEMENT!

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Central State University to Merge Two Colleges to Optimize Resources and Efficiency

The primary goal of the merger is to improve operational efficiency, support increased enrollment, and optimize resources. Notably, the focus on operational streamlining does not include any plans for staff or faculty layoffs.

Four Black Scholars Selected for Dean Positions

The dean appointments are Chukwuka Onwumechili at Howard University, Myra Bozeman at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, Joan Tilghman at Coppin State University in Baltimore, and Omolola Eniola-Adefeso at the University of Illinois.

Voorhees University Launches Its First Doctor of Education Degree Program

The new doctor of education in leadership program will offer two specialized tracks for students, preparing them to become successful leaders in their chosen educational field. Students can choose to focus their studies on either PK-12 education or higher education administration.

Fielding Graduate University Honors Ronald Mason for Lifetime Achievements in HBCU Leadership

Ronald Mason has served as president of three HBCUs: Jackson State University, Southern University and A&M College, and the University of the District of Columbia, where he was the longest tenured president in the university's history.

Featured Jobs